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Best wine you've had under $15

I love wine and don't mind spending on a great bottle. But who doesn't love a great bargain wine. My recent $15 find which I really enjoy is the 2004 Marques Casa de Concha, Chili, Cabernet Sauvignon. Notes of dried fig, black cherry, vanilla and coffee and soft tannins. What are your favorites? Nothing over $20 please.

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  1. I had a Sutter Home 2004 chardonnay on the weekend. It was about $13 a bottle. It was so cool, smooth and refreshing with a wonderful brightness of fruity overtones like peachy appley meloney flavours. It really caught me by surprise; I haven't had a pleasant chardonnay like that for a long time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: quixotequest

      I had a wine at a friend's house that I loved. It's only available at World Market and its..... wait for it... BOXED!!! It's called Wine 4 Chilling and it is bottled by Trinchnero. It's a great table white. It costs $16.00, and is 3 liters. I have never had boxed wine, but tried it upon the urging of my friend. I was shockingly surprised. It's not too sweet, not too dry. It's not oakey. It's got a nice acidity and is smooth.

      I also like Chateu St. Michelle Riesling.

      I recently tried a great Malbec that was $14.00 from Whole Foods. I think it was Don Miguel Gascon. I had a 1/2 cup left over and used it to make a beef and mushrooom gravy and wow, it was amazing.

      1. re: sisterfunkhaus

        Nothing wrong with boxed wine for casual drinking.

    2. This would be a very difficult question to answer fully, as space would not allow. Most wines I enjoy are under $15. I especially enjoy Italian wines, which are almost always around $15 except for my Brunello, Barbaresco and Barolo purchases. A more difficult proposal would be good wine under $10. My entries would be 2004 Falesco, Vitiano $7.89 (a Gambero Rosso 2 red glass winner); 2003 Banfi, Chianti Classico $9.99; 2001 Mazzocco, Zinfandel $8.25; 2003 Castello di Fabbrica, Chianti Classico $8.95; 2003 Fazi Battaglia, Marche, Estate Sangiovese $9.99; 2003 Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel $8.99: 2005 Fetzer “Valley Oaks“ Gewurztraminer $5.99; 2002 Chateau St. Jean “California” Merlot $8.98; 2003 Guilhem Durand, Vin de Pays d’Hauterive $8.95; 2002 14 Hands Merlot $7.95 and so forth. Later vintages may be a dollar or two more, but I am drinking these now.

      2 Replies
      1. re: BN1

        A couple of nice Italians for under $10... Di Majo Norante Sangiovese, Amano Primitivo Puglia.

        1. re: knowspicker

          Yes, I thought the Di Majo Norante was surprisingly good for the money.

      2. we just had a Honey Moon viognier that was delicious and I think about $5. It reminded me of Jasmine tea with honey and Asian pear. A nice summer surprise.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Betty

          I like the Honey Moon Viognier, too. The only place I've seen it is Trader Joe's.

          1. re: mojoeater

            Yes it was in a care package from TJ's (we don't have them here)

            1. re: Betty

              Also pleasantly surprised by the Honey Moon from Trader Joe's. I've also had a couple of Albarinos for right around $15 that were very good, but I can't remember which one. I'll have to take a look next time I'm at the store!

          2. re: Betty

            I absolutely LOVE this wine. I get a bottle every time I go to Trader Joe's.

          3. I love the Provencal roses, most of which come in at about $15. I know they became trendy last year when the hip hop crowd discovered them ( http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/bizfo... ) but I refuse to abandon them for some more obscure, aficionados-only treat. If some people mistake me for P. Diddy that's just a cross I'll have to bear. Although, actually, that has not happened yet for some reason.

            14 Replies
            1. re: inuksuk

              Dang, I must be behind the curve, as I am still trying to get my wine-snob buddies to embrace Rosés. Even top-line Tavels are met with disdain, since they are "pink." Hey, maybe I can play the P-Diddy card.

              As an aside, I usually do not care what is in, or out. I buy/drink what I like, and the consensus be dam#@^d. I was glad, on one hand, when "Sideways," became a hit, as the few good domestic (US) Merlots were being sold-off. OTOH, I was glad that I had a good stock of PNs, as they became the "darlings." I passed on several trips to the Central Coast Area, just because I did not want the crowds. During that time, Napa was almost deserted, and I did not complain, one bit.


              1. re: Bill Hunt

                Not behind the curve at all. Rose has it's place. I enjoy a rose w/ BBQ shrimp with a spicy sauce. Your wine-snob friends wouldn't turn their noses up at this combination of Sweet/Spicy.

                1. re: chrystaldawn

                  I've been doing Rosés for years, and especially love them with lighter summer fare. Heck, if I admit it, I probably started with Rosés (Lancer's & Mateus), then moved on, only to re-discover better ones, years later. Somehow, I totally missed the White Zin craze. My comment was basically regarding the new popularity of Rosés now. Seems logical, as they are fun, refreshing, usually food-friendly and not that expensive - that is, until they become the next "Hot Wine." OTOH, maybe even more of the Central Coast folk will explore them, using some of the European (and a few domestic ones) Rosés as a template.

                  For general food pairing, I find that Rosé sparklers and Champagnes cover a very broad spectrum. When at a loss for what to pair, I'll usually fall back to one of these.

                  Thanks for the update on the popularity of the wines. Though, in my local paper, just this morning, there was a spread on Rosé parties! You were right on track.


                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Hey, the word is spreading. Catch this article in today's Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/enterta...

                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      I remember a time when the ONLY wines I knew of were Lancer's, Mateuse and Blue Nun. The first two had the added benefit of coming in bottles that were candle-worthy.

                      I enjoy a good rose in summer, and tried a nice Tavel (at your suggestion) just a couple of weeks ago for the first time. Loved it!

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        For "candle-worthy" in those days, we nearly always relied on several Chianti offerings, that were sold in fiachi, with the wicker wrappings.

                        Still, Lancer's was served a lot in our household in the early '70s.


                  2. re: Bill Hunt

                    crowds? on the central coast? what central coast were you visiting? and what time of year??

                    1. re: wineninja

                      I gather you haven''t seen Sideways.

                    2. re: Bill Hunt

                      weird-- it's *only* my wine snob buddies who drink rose with me.

                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        Love your attitude, Bill. Shouldn't have passed on the central coast but just gone a little further north for the emerging Rhone varietals of the SLO, Paso Robles areas (which I'm sure you're aware of). All the craziness was to the south of basically Lompoc leaving the northern AVAs available for a pleasant journey.

                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          Bill - I like your style, because it is mine as well. I hated the Sideways effect on pinot, but it did open up some nice opportunities elsewhere, eh?

                          When you come to SF, I'll pour rosés for as long as you want -- now that is a category that still remains very attrractive, even though NYC and SF have been featuring them on summer wine lists.

                        2. re: inuksuk

                          Although I like collecting and drinking wine, I particularly like to buy tavel by the case and store it. I find that it gets better with age, and there is no one i know (yet) who would say that it doesn't pair with good foods and cheeses -or drink well by itself (or with moderately spicy foods). Of course, the unseen "cost" of keeping these around for years is unknown - but I like the flexibility of being able to drink these anytime between 0 and 15 years (just opened a 12 year old tavel the other day - it was excellent).

                        3. I recently enjoyed a bottle from Australia. It is " Fetish Shiraz The Watcher Barossa " 750ml $16.99. Screw top..which I am still getting used. I really don't have the vocabulary to describe it but I would say it is smokey, complex and it reminded me a little of Stags Leap. ( Glad you said nothing over 20!)

                          1. Chateau Ste Michelle Pinot Gris. $12.

                            1. great topic! i love La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, usually on sale for around $15

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: m25111

                                second the recommendation for La Crema Sonoma Coast Chard.
                                often carried by my local costco.

                              2. 2005 Muscadet, Domaine de la Pepiere. Everything a muscadet should be.
                                2003 Penfolds Bin 2, Shiraz Mourvedre. Great everyday house red.

                                1. In the $15 neighborhood (under $20 I'm pretty sure): 2004 Julien Meyer Heissenberg Gewurztraminer.

                                  1. This one is easy, as most of our wines exceed the price-point. At, then, US$12.05/btl. the Glen Carlou Grand Classique (Bdx. blend) was the stunner. Now, I have not seen it in the PHX area for over a year, so do not know how the price might have changed. It, when released, was on par with many US$50/btl. Bdx. wines.


                                    1. For me it is hard to beat clean local fruit (i.e. local wine that has not been heavily oaked [or oaked at all]). It retains those high notes that most of us don't get from wines from our wine shops. You really can't put a price on freshness (but it is typically under $15)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                        YUM!! I as well enjoy my whites unoaked!!

                                      2. I am a big fan of Australian reds, a lot of which can be had for less than $15. One of my favorites is d'Arenberg's Stump Jump.
                                        I also second the Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: orthorunner

                                          I Love a lot of D'arenberg!! Glad you mentioned it!!

                                          1. re: orthorunner

                                            Tried a "Stump Jump Shiraz" 2008 from MaclarenVale Australia. Very drinkable for under $10. (Named after a plow, of all things.)

                                          2. Just a few of my faves . . .

                                            Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèrve et Maine sur lie
                                            Domaine de l'Ecu Muscadet Sèrve et Maine sur lie, "Gneiss"

                                            Domaine des Terres Dorées Beaujolais à l'Ancienne
                                            Château d'Oupia Minervois
                                            Castelmaure Corbières Rouge, "Col des Vents"
                                            Château de Ségriès Lirac
                                            Domaine de la Mordorée Côtes du Rhône
                                            Domaine Grand Veneur Côtes du Rhône Villages, "Les Champauvins"

                                            Château de Ségriès Tavel Rosé
                                            Domaine de la Mordorée Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé

                                            Domaine Patrick Bottex Vin du Bugey Cerdon
                                            Domaine Renardat-Fâche Vin du Bugey Cerdon

                                            21 Replies
                                            1. re: zin1953

                                              Great list. You can't go wrong with Muscadet for value (and so much else in the Loire; Chinon, Bourgeuil). Most of what I drink is less than $20.

                                              These were the best from the past week for me:
                                              Château Cabézac Cuvee Arthur Minervois $18
                                              Cantalupo Colline Novaresi "Il Mimo" Nebbiolo rosé $13
                                              Convento dei Cappuccini Brachetto d'Acqui $13
                                              La Casaccia Grignolino "Poggeto" $10
                                              Inama Soave Classico $12
                                              Cantina Santa Maddalena Sudtirol St. Magdalener Classico $9

                                              Wow you can get great stuff from Spain for under $20. Look at Ribera del Duero and some of the good stuff coming from La Mancha.
                                              01 Bodegas Real Sitio de Ventosilla Prado Rey RdD Crianza $15
                                              01 Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva $10 (at PJwine; avoid the 02)
                                              02 Marques de Tomares Rioja Crianza $15
                                              01 Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez Vino de la Tierra Zamora Dehesa La Granja, $17
                                              04 Bodegas Gormaz RdD $8
                                              05 Bodegas Los Olmos RdD El Quintanal $8

                                              1. re: kenito799

                                                I agree too that both lists are impressive but how many of these would we consider "widely available"?

                                                1. re: Chinon00

                                                  well, I got most of that stuff from PJWine...they ship to most states...That makes them widely available!

                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                    What does "widely available" mean? The problem with this site is that there is no way to easily know where someone lives. Most of the wines I listed are available in major markets in the U.S. (e.g.: New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, greater Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Washington DC metro area -- including Maryland and Virginia, etc., etc.) Most of the wines I listed are probably not available in Portland, Maine, Midland-Odessa, Texas, or Boise, Idaho -- but that's just a guess . . . .

                                                    Certainly wines from large négociants will be more widely available -- that is, it should be MUCH easier to find (for example) a Côtes du Rhône from Guigal throughout the U.S. and Canada than it will be to find the ones from Château de Ségriès, Domaine de la Mordorée, or Domaine Grand Veneur; it will be easier to find the Beaujolais from Louis Jadot or (god forbid!) Duboeuf than it will be from Domaine des Terres Dorées . . . but in most cases, good though they are, they won't be *as* good as these.

                                                    AND, many of these are available through retailers which sell online so -- depending upon the laws and regulations of the state in which one lives -- these wines may be available that way, too.

                                                    1. re: zin1953

                                                      clicking Chinon00 indicates that he lives in the tragically underserved state of PA...I hope s/he can frequently cross the border into the promised land of wine selection and bargains (NJ)...

                                                      1. re: zin1953

                                                        That‘s sort of my point. Often we can get very specific with our suggestions on here. And some wines obviously will be hard if not impossible to obtain easily for many of us (I've never ordered wine over the internet. I mostly still “brick and mortar” it). What I think is it would be more advantageous to provide regional-vintage suggestions, which would provide more leeway for many us.

                                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                                          I can count the number of times I have ordered wine via the internet on one hand . . . so I know the feeling.

                                                          My point about where people live (most sites similar to this indicate it right on the same page as the person's post -- no need to go searching) is that *clearly* some wines are in more limited supply, and thus availability, than others. Small California wineries that produce, say, under 10,000 cases per year total, might not be available in PA or NJ . . . maybe in NY. But even so, not all of their wines will be available in NY; that 300 case lot of Pinot Noir may only be sold at the winery!

                                                          However, there is a SERIOUS problem with offering "regional-vintage suggestions." For instance, I can say that 2012 is an excellent vintage in the Rhône, or for Napa Valley Cabernets, and that won't mean there are no $#!+ wines produced in that vintage and from that region. There certainly will be. Conversely, 2011 was a horrible vintage -- but that doesn't mean there aren't some gems worth seeking out and buying . . .

                                                          Speaking for myself (and only for me), if I know someone is in (e.g.) Texas, I know there are certain wines I can recommend, and certain wines I can't -- they simply aren't sold there. The same is true with Pennsylvania.

                                                          BUT . . . knowing you live in Pennsylvania . . . I would encourage you to look for affordable French wines from the South of France imported by Hand Picked Selections. HPS brings in some great wines, and many of them are available through the Pennsylvania state stores.


                                                          1. re: zin1953

                                                            I agree. You can't recommend Rioja or Chianti because a lot of them aren't very good, often the ones that are most widely available. And 02 was supposed to be not a very good year in Rioja but Marques de Tomares 02 Crianza is excellent.

                                                            But maybe I feel comfortable recommending that people try blindly from regions that are undervalued, like Muscadet or any of those obscure northern Italian areas...or ask at a knowledgable wine store (yes I realize difficult in PA but PA may be a lost cause...NJ is just across the bridge) if they have anything good from Ribera del Duero, etc.

                                                            Actually I recently bought a good Chianti in Philly, Ricasoli Brolio, $18.

                                                      2. re: Chinon00

                                                        Chinon00 have you ever posted a board asking other CH where they purchase their wine in PA!! A lot of wine shops I've experienced will special order items. I know some of us lucky enough to live in CA have an advantage to the wine purchasing. I lived in VA for a few years and found the task to be a bit more challenging. Once I became a regular at a couple of wine shops and befriended the associates they were able to get a few wines for me I wasn't able to find otherwise.

                                                        1. re: chrystaldawn

                                                          Maybe I am a bit handicapped in PA however my greater point is that I think that when we start to consider region or appellation when suggesting wine it serves those whom we are making the suggestion to better than merely suggesting a wine alone. So for instance if I want a fleshy low acid white wine wouldn't it better serve a person to suggest say Sicilian wine or other areas than listing specific producers and vintages? That way the person has a wider selection and thus a better shot at getting what they want. And it also starts to help them understand where wine that tastes that particular way comes from and why, broadening their understanding of wine in general.
                                                          So in the future in front of a wine list or at the wine shoppe the person isn't trying to remember this Producer or that Vineyard but a region; one that they can be pretty sure will satisfy what they desire that evening.

                                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                                            Certainly, you have a point. However . . .

                                                            I am a firm believer in the "laziness" of human nature. Thus, when people are looking for "a wine," BOTH the question itself and the answers are over simplified. Very few people ask for a wine in a particular style, for example, and most wines can be produced in a wide range . . . in response, most people throw out names of their personal favorites, with little regard to style, availability or even price (unless that it part of the original criteria, and even then they'll go over slightly).

                                                            In an ideal world, the discussion would contain many more details:

                                                            "You may want to look for ___________ wines that come from __________ because these types of wines _____________. Some of the better producers for _________ wines include _________, ___________, and __________. Good vintages for ____________ wines include _____, _______, and ________."

                                                            For imported wines, the information may even include, "Importers to look for when it comes to _______ wines include ______________, _____________, and ____________."

                                                            I would hope this would be the case. I ask where people are from in order to (hopefully) avoid the frustration of looking for wines they will never be able to find, and I often try to provide more information and a context to my suggestions, but sometimes there isn't any time -- I'm rushing off to work, have to answer the phone, take care of the kids, whatever. . . .

                                                            Generally, however, I think most people are going to answer "2008 Chateau Cache Phloe Chardonnay."


                                                            1. re: zin1953

                                                              EXACTLY!!! ha. i think i love you.

                                                            2. re: Chinon00

                                                              Thanks for clarifying!! I see how that would be ideal especially for wines from outside the USA where there are strict laws about the making of wine and selections vary so much from store to store. As I'm sure you know in the states we don't have to follow any strict laws so to say all 2001 Napa Valley cabs are great is not always going to be the case.
                                                              I just love it when I find a great bottle of wine without going over $20. So I wanted to share it and see what other people have found for under $20. I like the variety of answers, some wines I've had, some I might need to try.

                                                        2. re: kenito799

                                                          Glad to see the Inama Soave Classico on your list. I love that wine!

                                                        3. re: zin1953

                                                          I like the selection of french wines you've shared I'm newer in my venture to french wines I am going to give a few of these a try!!

                                                          1. re: zin1953

                                                            Simi Merlot, $12.
                                                            zin1953, I'd love your take on the Simi wines.

                                                            1. re: zin1953

                                                              Any California wines that you would suggest in this same range?

                                                              1. re: wineanddine2nite

                                                                Honestly? The short answer is "no," in that the QPR (quality-price ratio) is generally much better with French wines, or those from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria -- in other words, Europe -- than it is with California wines. <$15 in California, and ***generally speaking *** you'll get plonk. (There certainly are some exceptions.)

                                                                For my "house wine" (i.e.: $15 or less), I ***always*** look to Europe.

                                                                Having said that, if you want to give me an idea of the type of wine(s) you like and/or are looking for -- and where you live -- I can try to give you some specific recommendations from California.


                                                                1. re: zin1953

                                                                  My love of wine began about eight years ago, since then I have only been able to travel to Napa, Oregon, Paso Robles and Santa Ynez/Lopoc to exlpore. That being said, I have never had wine from anywhere else. However, I would like to try something new. My favorite red wines are cabernet, syrah and the untrendy merlot. I used to like chardonnay but it seems that its hard to find a nice buttery one these days. I live in California which makes ordering wine online pretty easy, but will have to wait until the summer months pass. Your suggestions are appreciated, as I tend to buy within the fifty dollar range and as a teacher I usually end up saving these for weekends. I would love a nice weekday wine.

                                                                  1. re: wineanddine2nite

                                                                    If you like fruit forward wines, for under $20 you can get
                                                                    Beckmen Vineyards Cuvée Le Bec - which I enjoy.

                                                                    Beckmen makes other wines around that range, so does Bedrock and Columbia Crest.

                                                                    1. re: goldangl95

                                                                      Beckman's Rosé of Grenache is one of the better domestic (US) examples, that I have encountered too. I agree that he does some very nice, and interesting wines.

                                                                      Good call,


                                                            2. albarinos; roses; a particular vermentino "Costamolino"; riesling kabinetts; cotes du rhone; nero d avolas....

                                                              1. 2003 San Giusto a Rentenanno Chianti Classico @ Woodland Hills Wine Company for $14.99

                                                                1. "Nothing over $20 please."

                                                                  Oooo... in that case I can also include most recent vintages of Theo Minges Scheurebe Spatlese Gliesweiler Holle.

                                                                  Also, Sandler Zinfandel Very different wine from the Chianti. Have to contact Ed Kurtzman directly to get it, though. (415) 225-2891

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: whiner

                                                                    I have had that Scheurebe and it is wonderful!

                                                                  2. Hope Estate Shiraz - was under $20.

                                                                    Chateau St. Michelle Reisling

                                                                    Bloom Reisling

                                                                    1. 2002 Kamiak Red from Washington, $12.99.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Summerfield

                                                                        I like all of Francis Coppola's wines. I just bought some Rosso for $4.71 per bottle, I really like the Rosso. The Claret is particularly nice, usually right around $15.00

                                                                      2. These are some of my favorite Spanish reds:

                                                                        Vina Alarba Old Vines Grenache (Garnacha), Calatayud
                                                                        Bodegas Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha, Campo de Borja
                                                                        Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha, Calatayud

                                                                        I also like Silvano Follador Prosecco "Cartizze".

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: SanJoseHound

                                                                          Altano Red, from Portugal. About $7 for 750ml.

                                                                          1. re: SanJoseHound

                                                                            Three of favorites, too.

                                                                            Add to that -
                                                                            Marrietta Old Vine
                                                                            Montes Alpha Cabernet
                                                                            Montes Alpha Syrah

                                                                            1. re: Wineman

                                                                              I am right there with you Wineman , PA Chairmans Selction usually has 2 of the 3. We also get a lot of good Aussie wines at the same price. PA can be a handicap because you can't ship from out of state , but they will special order.

                                                                              1. re: Wineman

                                                                                Costco has a 25th anniv Montes Alpha Cab and its great - only 15.99 -- I was VERY surprised at how much I like it...highly recommended.

                                                                            2. 2003 Primus - Chile, Cab/Merlot/Carmenere blend
                                                                              I can't do tasting notes yet - but unmistakable blackberry most definitely.
                                                                              I felt that it exploded in my mouth!

                                                                              1. For six months I was obsessed by the very easy-to-find Navarra (Garnacha) by Artazuri. It costs around $14 here in New York and was utterly delightful with huge, fanciful clouds of raspberry supplemented by attractive notes of slate and chalk.... so nice with simple pasta!

                                                                                Spanish wines are an excellent value, in general.

                                                                                  1. Elsa Malbec. About $7.00 a bottle but tastes like it should cost more.

                                                                                    1. Gunderloch "Jean Baptiste" Kabinett ("off dry" German riesling). Forgot which vintage (maybe 2001, a good vintage). The 2005 is $16 at K&L. It was a relevation for me since I didn't think I liked residual sugar in wine. Turns out most CA wineries just can't make riesling the way the Germans do it. The very light sweetness was perfectly balanced by the acidity (which I think comes from the region's colder climate). I finally understood the appeal of "minerality" in rieslings. All that combined with the typical ripe fruit (mostly peach) and the most satisfying finish I can remember.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: HungryMojo

                                                                                        My vote is on Kim Crawford SB 2005/2006 $13.99!!! Also Husch Pinot Noir $15.99

                                                                                        1. re: sweetnspicy

                                                                                          Banfi Centine, a Sangiovese/Cab/Merlot blend from Italy: around $10.
                                                                                          Bogle's Petite Sirah: around $10.
                                                                                          Moana Park Pascoe Series Sauvignon Blanc, a minerally, Sancerre-style wine from New Zealand: around $15.

                                                                                      2. This list is heavily skewed towards Southern hemisphere reds, but lately those have been my passion

                                                                                        2003 Bodegas Tikalo ‘Rubens’ Tierra de Castilla Tempranillo
                                                                                        Bodega Norton Reserva Malbec 2004
                                                                                        Carchelo 2005 Monastrell Mourvedre
                                                                                        Altos Las Hormigas 2005 Malbec
                                                                                        La Joya Reserve 2004 Carmenere
                                                                                        Palmela Tradicao 2000 Portugal Vinho Tinto
                                                                                        2003 Venta Mazzaron Tempranillo
                                                                                        2005 Konyari Sigillum Loliense (Hungary-blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling)

                                                                                        1. Foxglove 2005 Edna Valley chardonnay is very nice. Parker gave it a 90, for what that's worth.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: SteveTimko

                                                                                            I see the 2007 has also garnered 90 points from Parker, can you suggest a retail source?

                                                                                            1. re: SteveTimko

                                                                                              I agree on the Foxglove. Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier is also nice in the $15 range. For reds, I like BR Cohn Silver Label.

                                                                                            2. One of my favorites is Oracle Shiraz (South Africa)...rich and velvety...and $5.99 at Wine Legend in Cherry Hill. :)

                                                                                              1. Great suggestions - especially the Spanish Reds, which I agree are a good bargain. We're enjoying reds from South America lately and LOVE the Norton Malbec! The Reserva is usually around $15, the regular is about $9. I think for the money, the Reserva is the way to go, but either are great choices!

                                                                                                1. The 96 Fetzer "johanisberg" riesling. A 6 dollar bottle of wine that won the California State Fair wine contest over something like 2,000 other wines. Like honey.

                                                                                                  1. For a great summer white the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc can't be beat (12.99 at Costco) - for a nice red the Marques Phillipes Syrah is tasty at about $14 - also the Norton Bodega Reserve Malbec at about $12 is quite good, too.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: truefoodie

                                                                                                      I've had all of those and agree wholly with you!!

                                                                                                      1. re: sweetnspicy

                                                                                                        Columbia Crest Two Vines Shiraz at $7.00 is consistently very good to excellent and easy to find.

                                                                                                    2. 2004 Chateau Pesquie "Les Terraces" Cotes du Ventoux Grenache/Shiraz is an unbelievable value at $14 Canadian including all taxes (in Ontario). If you get it in your market, buy it by the case! This wine consistently garners 89-90 Parker points, for those of you that care.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: bogie

                                                                                                        At the last "tasting group" we had about four months ago, we sampled S. American wines (Chile/Argentina) and of the 20 people attending, the #1 winner of the evening BY FAR was:

                                                                                                        Crios Torrontes (Argentina) - about $15

                                                                                                        If you have a chance to try any Torrontes, give it a shot this summer...really nice tropical aromas/flavors with vibrant acidity to match.

                                                                                                        (Fyi our wine company doesn't represent the Crios -- it's just one of those brands that is really generating some positive industry buzz and uniformly making excellent wines).

                                                                                                      2. Great subject. I try for $10's that taste like $30's ( hard to find!). Dry Creek fume blanc, Hedges blends(Chard/fume; merlot, cab). For those who like the Norton malbec, try the "High Altitude".
                                                                                                        Drouhin is a good value negotiant.

                                                                                                        1. Guenoc Petite Syrah - the Lake County is usually about $18 and the other one (sorry, don't know which one) is usually about $10 at my grocery store. I drink the $10 one when I'm having a glass or 2. I drink the Lake County on the weekends. Both are perfect. I also can't do tasting notes, but if you like Petite Syrah, Guenoc is the winery for you.

                                                                                                          1. 2006 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough $11.99
                                                                                                            Francois Montand- Sparkling $9.99
                                                                                                            2004 Fat Bastard- Chardonnay- $9.99
                                                                                                            2004 Scenario- Chard- $9.99
                                                                                                            Mark West- Pinor Noir- $9.99
                                                                                                            Rosenblum Zinfandel Vintner's Cuvee XXIX - $8.99
                                                                                                            2003 Georges Viornery Brouilly (Beaujolais) $12.99
                                                                                                            2003 Domaine de Rully St. Michel Les Champs Cloux (Red) $16.99 (close enough and a good Burgundy pinot noir)
                                                                                                            2004 Las Rocas Garnacha (Calatayud) $7.99

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Sobe

                                                                                                              Try - FETZER Gerwurtztraminer - it's excellent! Everyone I've recommended this wine to has LOVED IT... good "goldilocks" (not too sweet - not too dry) wine for all occasions.
                                                                                                              We're HOOKED...

                                                                                                              1. re: Sallieb190

                                                                                                                Hogue Reisling. It's my summer wine. I keep a bottle in the fridge all the time. Good for just kicking back and having a glass. The bartender at my country club started picking up a couple of bottles when I asked if he had any Reisling and he didn't. Now, he has to buy it by the case - some others are asking for it, too.

                                                                                                              2. re: Sobe

                                                                                                                I second that with the Kim C and the Mark West. Very ood wines for a good price!!!

                                                                                                              3. For under $10:

                                                                                                                Crystalino is a rose sparkling that I was frankly surprised to enjoy as much as I did. I think we paid $7 for it, actually.

                                                                                                                Tosti Asti Spumante, that you can buy at most groceries stories, like $8-10. Easy drinking, refreshing. One of my guilty pleasures to be drinking this mass produced cheap wine since I most often drink from small producers.

                                                                                                                You can take both of these on summer picnics on the boat when you're having burgers and not dining with oenophiles.

                                                                                                                Others for under $20:

                                                                                                                La Doyenne, Bordeaux. An amazing wine for under $20 when you can get it. I can't locally right now, otherwise I'd never mention it.

                                                                                                                Chateaux Haut Dambert. An acceptable substitute if you can't get La Doyenne. I'm drinking half of my 2003 atm, and saving the other half for a bit.

                                                                                                                Orfila Vineyards, in of all places, San Diego County. We stopped in for a "tasting" just for a lark. I never never never expected to find wines as good as this anywhere this far south in California. Their winemaker is pretty darn good, particularly for their whites. I'll start by recommending their 2005 Lotus or their 2005 Muscat Canelli or their 2005 Gewurtztraminer.

                                                                                                                2005 St. Christopher Gewurztraminer. Rheinhessen. $10. Woot. A real find by my spouse.

                                                                                                                I need to try the Fetzer Gewurtz, thank you.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: fussycouple

                                                                                                                  >>> Orfila Vineyards, in of all places, San Diego County. We stopped in for a "tasting" just for a lark. I never never never expected to find wines as good as this anywhere this far south in California. Their winemaker is pretty darn good, particularly for their whites . . . <<<

                                                                                                                  Orfla -- http://www.orfila.com/ -- is the ONLY winery I recommend to people visiting that far south. It is clearly heads and shoulders above anything in Temecula, for example, and the winery would be much better known if it was located elsewhere. Their winemaker, Leon Santoro, is a refuge from Napa Valley with many years of experience at places including Louis M. Martini, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, and Quail Ridge.

                                                                                                                  He is also someone I've known for almost 30 years.


                                                                                                                  1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                    O"Reilly's 2006 Pinot Noir. Great wine that improved on day two with a little aeration.

                                                                                                                    1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                      Ahh, Orfila Vineyards, I am a former employee there and even if I wasn't "biased" I would recommend this as a top choice for visitors and locals to explore. I have tried all of the local wines and have found Leon's wines to be far above all others. I have even passed the wine on to friends and family in other states, and have gotten rave reviews and reorders for more. My particular favorites and recommendations to try are... 04 Estate Syrah, Lot 45 Estate Lotus (viognier, marsanne and rousanne blend), and of course the Estate Sangiovese (any vintage year).

                                                                                                                      I just back from visiting Napa Valley and have found some other tasty treats such as Peju's Syrah and Chimney Rock's 03 Cabernet Sauvignon.

                                                                                                                      Cheers to all and your wonderful recommendations, can't wait to try some of the French wines listed on here.

                                                                                                                      1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                        Ditto ZIn's rec on Orfila and Leon. Incidentally, my uncle is very good friends and consults for Leon's winery; for our family gatherings, he always pulls out an Orfila for us they're always tasty.

                                                                                                                        1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                          zin - we were married at orfila oct 2006! i have long been a fan of their whites especially, and also their sangiovese. we live in san diego and love that we are able to visit orfila anytime we want. we do picnics there frequently. their viognier and bien nacido chard (albeit not from their vineyard) are my faves. $18 for the chard, the vioginer wouldn't make the cut on this list of under $20 though.

                                                                                                                          my rec for a wine under $20 is nine stones 2003 mclaren vale shiraz. so easily drinkable and smoo-oo-ooth. i nearly did a doubletake the first time i sipped it. like buttah!!!

                                                                                                                      2. Greek wine is a superb value, in my experience, if you know what to look for. Lantides Moschofilero should set you back between $12-$15, and it's a revelation. Reminded me of a top-notch dry gewurtztraminer for a fraction of the cost; an aggressive, moderatley acidic, fragrant wine perfect for all sorts of strongly-flavored food.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Yaqo Homo

                                                                                                                          Interesting! I foresee a steel-cage death match between the 2005 basic Zind-Humbrecht bottling and this Moschofilero (and perhaps a Triple Threat match with the Fogarty gewurz), in the interests of Science :-). Thanks for the tip! I love a well-made Gewurz but I don't particularly like the tariff involved.

                                                                                                                        2. I just discovered the Robert Hall California Coastal Blend from Paso Robles - $12 and sooo good that I went back another day and got another bottle. So drinkable! I also really like the Kim Crawford Savig. Blanc and the Pacific Dry Rim Reisling (dry not sweet, hate sweet!) from Bonnie Doon. So worth it! I think Trader Joes actually carries all of these!

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: SFGourmande

                                                                                                                            Second on the Robert and the Kim - both way better than their price tags would suggest.
                                                                                                                            In the under $15, I also love the Marquis Phillips Syrah and the much mentioned Norton Reserve Malbec.

                                                                                                                          2. I've been a fan of Barefoot merlots. They're under $15 and surprisingly tasty.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: Aychacha

                                                                                                                              The Barefoot chardonnay and pinot grigio are also good.

                                                                                                                            2. I don't trust Bordeaux's in this price range, but have had great luck with Bergerac's, both red and white.

                                                                                                                              1. I'm amazed that no one has mentioned any of the Beaujolais crus. They are almost all available for less than 15 bucks a pop, and in many vintages, are terrific values. the "03s and '05s are excellent, and most(05) are 12-14 per bottle. Morgon domaine Mont Chavy '05, Domaine du quatre vents 05 are just 2 that I've found to be delicious.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                  I was just thinking that -- Gamay is a lovely happy grape and in good vintages, the QPR of Beaujolais (Villages or Cru) seems to walk all over its red-tinted neighbors. 05 and 06 appear to be the epitome of this trend.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                    Just had the '05 Domaine des Quatre Vents Fleurie. Superb. Nose of raspberry ganache, graphite in the middle of the mouth. And incredibly versatile. It went well with both California rolls and steak teriyaki.

                                                                                                                                  2. Hard to decide on this one. Every well-made Albarino I have tried, everything containing Greco or Falanghina (particularly an IGT from Lazio which combined the two), every cheap Vouvray (demi-sec), and every Carmenere I have tried thus far was very tasty and under $15. (I just realized that I haven't tasted a Cabernet Sauvignon in several months)

                                                                                                                                    Probably the single best QPR I have ever come across in a wine was a Hungarian white made from Cserzegi Fuszeres, a cross of Gewurz and Irsay Oliver. (I have never tasted the latter by itself, but the cross turned out a wine with Gewurz nose and Sauvignon Blanc palate) Someone else recommended it, and at $1.99 from Trader Joe's, why not? Even if I poured half the bottle down the drain, I figured it cost less than a tall boy of Tecate.

                                                                                                                                    For $2 I don't think anything else comes close to delivering the same punch. I don't buy a lot of it becase, even at 500% of what I expected (pretty much what I'd rate its QPR), there are still lots of other exciting things out there to drink, and I only drink 3-4 times a week with dinner, so it doesn't make sense for me to revisit even the best-value bottles too often.

                                                                                                                                    1. Folie a Deux Menage a Trois Rose $12

                                                                                                                                      1. There are tons and tons of great wine under $15 but many are hard to find and you have to kiss a lot of toads to find the prince. Believe me, I kiss a lot of toads.

                                                                                                                                        As a fairly widely distributed brand Castle Rock is pretty hard to beat across the board.

                                                                                                                                        Varner's Foxglove Chardonnay is outstanding and a steal if you can find it.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: jock

                                                                                                                                          So glad I finally saw Castle Rock listed - I love their Pinot Noir and I can always find it for less than $15.

                                                                                                                                        2. Recently, I was so impressed with a French Rhone blend that I decided to make it the first Cellar Selection on my Food Czar blog. Perrin & Fils Vacqueras Les Christins retails for around $14, skillfully blending 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah into a heady brew with "ripe fig, licorice, and currant paste flavors, backed by cocoa and graphite notes.....(with a) dark, muscular finish." In addition, cellaring for one to three years is recommended, although it makes a perfectly delightful quaff right now, as is, or as an accompaniment to strong meats and cheeses.

                                                                                                                                          1. I agree, under $15 is too difficult for me. Allmost everything I drink is under $15.

                                                                                                                                            How about under $10?

                                                                                                                                            I work in a wine store and I think that the best value in the store is the Garnacha de Fluego. It is Spanish, from the Bodegas Zabrin in Calatayud. From old vines, it is loaded with raspberry and cherry fruit a with loamy soil and spice nose. It sells for $5.99.

                                                                                                                                            1. I'm a big fan of Casa de Ermita's Monastario Santa Ana label. It is, I believe, a tempranillo. A case won't run you more than $90.

                                                                                                                                              Also recently tried Caballo Negro's cab sauv and at $10, it is another great every-night sort of wine.

                                                                                                                                              1. 2003 Sagelands Merlot~ Right about $10. A great go-to bottle!

                                                                                                                                                1. Great thread! Every time I thought of one I love, someone listed it. So, I'll list them again. :D

                                                                                                                                                  Cristalino Brut
                                                                                                                                                  Codorniu Brut Rose
                                                                                                                                                  Korbel Brut Rose (don't snub your nose at this Korbel)
                                                                                                                                                  Bogle Petite Syrah
                                                                                                                                                  Norton Malbec (I just bought the reserve the other day and can't wait to try that!)
                                                                                                                                                  Screw Kappa Napa Cabernet (don't let the goofy name fool you)
                                                                                                                                                  King Estate Pinot Gris

                                                                                                                                                  1. had a Castano "Solanera" this week, 10.99, very nice QPR

                                                                                                                                                    1. Sauvingnon Blanc: Babich (New Zealand). Incredible QPR

                                                                                                                                                      1. Most recently: 2004 Bodegas Castaño Monastrell Yecla Hécula for $12.99 from my local (NYC) wine shop.


                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Eddie H.

                                                                                                                                                          Eddie, I just had the wine you talked about tonight, and it is excellent. I pay a bit more in Canada ($15) but the Hecula is worth every penny. Some might find it a tad sweet and fruity, but I found those qualities to be balanced by a noticeable but not overpowering tar and leather earthiness.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Traditional (a red, forgot details: I think it was a blend of different varietals, not sure what vintage) - wine consultant suggested it and it was delicious and under $15 .

                                                                                                                                                          Rioja - Marques de Riscal, 2003 - the only wine I ever seem to buy at Trader Joe's Wine Shop it's either $14.99 or $12.99

                                                                                                                                                          Lincourt chardonnay 2004 - lovely, can't find it anymore

                                                                                                                                                          New Zealand, Brancott, sauvignon blanc, reserve - might have been $17 not $15, a favorite, can't find it anymore. I think it was rated around 90 by Wine Spectator too.

                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                                                                            Honig 2003-04 Sauvignon Blanc about 13-15
                                                                                                                                                            Edna Valley 06' Chardonnay 10 bucks at TJ's

                                                                                                                                                            both so easy to drink!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks, trolley. As you can see I have a tough time finding a white I like. Reds are far more interesting. I've had a Honig sauvignon blanc at Houston's, delicious (but depressing $$$ by the glass and with the markup).

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                                                                                i have the opposite problem. i can find plenty of whites under $15 but have a hard tine finding red i like under $30. palacio de menade 2005 is a white spanish wine that runs under $10 is another one of my favorites. it's not easy to find in my area but i have and it's another one of my favorites. st supery also makes a great sauvignon blanc. grapefruit and grassy taste. very fresh!

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                Went to Trader Joe's to pick up some rioja. Gone. Asked about the Honig (thanks again for the rec, trolley). Gone. Picked up some King Shag, sauvignon blanc, New Zealand, 2007 @ $7.99. Sitting beside it on the shelf was the The WS rated 87 Brancott sauvignon blanc @ $2 more. Drinking the King Shag as I type (gotta love the name). May have found a new reasonable white to enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                            2. bonny doon pacific rim reisling

                                                                                                                                                              1. 2004 Pietra Santa, Sangiovese, Cienega Valley, $9.95
                                                                                                                                                                2004 Pedroncelli, Sangiovese, “Alto Vineyards”, Dry Creek Valley,$9.99 (2002 $8.00)
                                                                                                                                                                2005 C.G. di Arie, Zinfandel, Amador. $13.69
                                                                                                                                                                2006 Abel Clément, Côtes du Rhône, Blanc, $5.99
                                                                                                                                                                2005 Domaine Grand Veneur, Côtes du Rhône Villages, “Les Champauvins”, $12.99
                                                                                                                                                                Most all Calif. Sauvignon Blancs and Viogniers purchased under $15.00

                                                                                                                                                                1. Year after year I like Marietta Old Vine Red (mostly Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane) and d'Arenberg Stump Jump Red (Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvedre)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Another is a nero di Troia from the producer Santa Lucia. Shouldn't run you more than $13 and it is just a fantastic little Pugliese wine.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. My 2 favorite cheap fallback wines are 1)Torres Sangre de Toro. Tasty Spanish blend. Last year was their 50th anniversary vintage and the best one I've had in years. 2) Rex Goliath's 47 Pound Rooster Pinot Noir. Both about 10 bucks.

                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jackbauer

                                                                                                                                                                        Does the Sangre de Toro still come with the little plastic bull? I remember when (1) the wine was about $5-6; and (2) I had a whole herd of little black plastic bulls collected on my kitchen counter.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes indeed. Nobody dares to walk around my apartment barefoot 'cause they might get the horns. The 50th anniversary vintage had a gold bull. I have about 4 dozen of those.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jackbauer

                                                                                                                                                                          Those Rex Goliath's are pretty tasty for the price. The ones I've had were a bit minerally, a nice change of pace from the usual crap you get, even at $10-14

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jackbauer

                                                                                                                                                                            I got the rex goliath for 6.99 at trader joes today and it's really great! thanks for the suggestion. i feel like i found my $10 and under house red wine now.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                              A delicious find from the weekend: Concha Y Toro Winemakers' Lot 152 Carmenere 2005. Was $19.88 in BC, but I bet that you could find it for $15 in the US. Both my wife and I loved this wine: it had the smoky qualities typical of Carmenere but had some interesting cinnamon and clove notes, and the fruit was not overpowering or murky, as can be the case with Carmenere. Definitely a floral bouquet. Highly recommended.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, $6.99? I feel happy when I find it for 9 bucks. Going to have to go to TJ's from now on. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Liberty School gets my vote.

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: WyCo

                                                                                                                                                                                Liberty School is under $15 in the states? that is so not fair to us up north, it retails for about $25 and I see it on menus for $50.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Bodegas Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha - Consistent quality year-to-year.

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: spoggly

                                                                                                                                                                                  Seconded! RP gave the 2006 a 91. It is delicious. Big fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. I was really hesitant to pick this one up today, but now I'm glad I did: Castle Rock 2006 Mendocino County Pinot Noir. $9.99 at Trader Joe's. I'm leery of cheap Pinots, and generally pay at least $20, often $30 and up for a bottle. I decanted it for about 45 minutes before dinner, which was rice with chicken and shitake mushrooms, sauteed eggplant and some artichokes. The dinner had lots of olive oil, basil, parsley, garlic, etc., and the wine was delicious with it. It's a light red, with lots of red fruit flavor, and modest tannins. Bright acids cut through the olive oil and dried mushroom richness. Now, an hour after dinner's finished, I've poured a little more, and I'm getting lots of cherries, some vanilla, and a very pleasant finish. Glad I took a chance on this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Pretty much everything at Blumenhof Winery in Dutzow, Missouri is amazing, and under $15. They no longer allow orders from their website, but you can get wine shipped by calling their 800 number. This year's blends are really good, and the 06 Vignoles really came of age in the last couple of months.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Recipes, Restaurant Reviews and More - My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Montecillo Rioja. Great wine, very reasonably priced. Got top 100 in wine spec, i believe.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. My house wines:

                                                                                                                                                                                        Guigal Cotes du Rhone
                                                                                                                                                                                        Beringer Third Century Pinot Noir
                                                                                                                                                                                        Chateau St. Michelle Dry Riesling
                                                                                                                                                                                        Toasted Head Chardonnay

                                                                                                                                                                                        I was very pleasantly surprised by the Beringer because in my search for cheap pinots I had come across many very unbalanced wines. Ultimately the Beringer turned out nice and earthy, with a decent complexity for the price (13). The Guigal is my favorite cotes du rhone at that price point, and I have tried a number of them (but there must be many more I have not). The may not be chateauneuf du pape, but they are a good everyday wine. The Chateau St. Michelle is absolutely crisp and delicious, and a wonderful wine to pair with food. The toasted head is a favorite of my wife - I dig it, being a hefty but decently smooth chardonnay for the price, and not overly oaked. One can probably do better, but it's decently cheap and available. And it has a bear on the front, which obviously matters immensely!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ericurus

                                                                                                                                                                                          I know this is an old thread, but water just came out my nose when I read that Toasted Head Chard "isn't overly oaked"!!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Cuvee de Vezelay from Henry de Vezelay... Vezelay is a small town just south of the Chablis appelation. This wineis just $12, but if it could bear the name "Chablis," I daresay it would be over $20. If you love Chablis, don't pass it by.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Sebeka 2006 Shiraz, $7.99 at the supermarket. Nicely spicy. I've never paid more than $12 for a bottle and probably never will, but I do like to find a good cheapie. For everyday plonk I admit I've been drinking a lot of $2.99 Golden Gate cab...does the trick when I'm not feeling especially picky.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Familia Mayol Malbec 2006 - $14.00 (Argentina)

                                                                                                                                                                                              "Intense red violet color. Blackberry, plums and boysenberry with sweet toast aromas. Spice and mineral notes with a long finish. Fresh acidity keeps it mouthwateringly fresh. Sweet tannins blended with oak provide complexity and a velvety and a long mouth final. Balanced, completely mature!" Amantivino.com

                                                                                                                                                                                              I love this wine. Always keep a couple of bottles around.


                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Blackstone. I'm pretty much in love with the 2005 Merlot. It's about $8 a bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. A bottle of Clean Slate Riesling appeared on my shelf over the holidays... undoubtedly a gift that slipped in unnoticed. Anyway, I really enjoyed it enough to see if I could track down a local source. Around$13-15 a bottle, and a find, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: random amblings

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Agree. I have seen that wine under $10 in New England. Nicely done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TonyO

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, thanks for bringing this up. I first enjoyed Clean Slate as a single glass at a restaurant. I remember it fondly because it was the first indication that I might enjoy riesling and perhaps other white wines more than the reds I had sampled until that time. My girlfriend drinks mainly cabs and other reds somewhere in this price range (often closer to $10), and although I have occasionally thought "Hm, that's not bad" to a few of her choices, more often they are not good to me. She has perhaps slightly different preferences in the wine but mainly I think just doesn't have as picky a palate as I do for it. I have had more luck with reds that are $25-ish but can't buy those all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, the reason I say thanks for bringing it up is because it prompted me to search the Pennsylvania LCB site again, just to see. It had always been a special order item before, so the only time I got a bottle was when I found one while out of state. But now, it's "regular", which means it could well be in stock at any PA state store (you can check the stock online), and it's 12 bucks regular price. They bottle this in a screw top, BTW, just for anyone who cares one way or the other. For me that is a bonus, slightly easier to close up and keep for a day or two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pretty sure I've had two different vintages and it was consistent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: CrazyOne

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I find that a well made Riesling is just an incredible wine. Those wonderful stone fruits combined with a refreshing minerality is a combination found in no other wine at any price. And the bonus is you can find enjoyable Riesling at affordable prices and incredible Riesling for just a few bucks more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. These are a few that appeal to me. Not a single red in the bunch, though I do sometimes find a Cotes-du-Rhone, or Burgundy that I like. Right now, though, at my local wine store, this is what's available at around $15.00 that I like:
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Allimant-Laugner N.V. Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rosé $16.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Domaine Jean Pierre Seve 2007 Macon-Solutre $15.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sylvain Bailly 2007 Quincy Beaucharme $15.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Francois Chidaine 2007 Touraine Sauvignon Blanc $11.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                    J. Laurens N.V. Cremant de Limoux Blanc de Blanc $12.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Monchhof 2007 Estate Riesling $15.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Carballal 2007 Sete Cepas Albarino Rias Baixas $12.99

                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: vickib

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dona Paula and Gascon Malbecs, each avail. around $10-$15.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lawdog262

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hurray for the Malbecs! Bodegas Norton 2005 Reserva.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lawdog262

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just finished a Gascon Malbec ($12 in Westchester, NY). Very nice, a little spice and acidity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just bought and am drinking a Terrazas de los Andes 2007 Malbec ($11). this is a bit smoother than the Gascon, more berry than spice to my taste.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I find both to be very good, especially for the price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: iluvcookies

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Seriously, Malbec is one of the gems in the wine world. Very, very affordable but with lots of nuance and flavor. Sangiovese is also a favorite at my house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KristieB

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Have you tried Penfolds Koonunga Hill? Cab-Shiraz blend, about $9 locally. Supposedly ages well too, which is not typical of a bottle in this price range. I served it at Thanksgiving and have since bought 6 more bottles for entertaining. Smoother than Malbec and a very nice crowd pleaser.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am especially happy to have found Malbec. My absolute favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Amberton Cabernet Sauvignon is a pretty decent drink, more than excellent for $5.00

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Icantread

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just bought another case of 2006 PALESTRA Duero. An amazing Portuguese value for $8 or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Big Fat Moe

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm sure I've had that one but can't remember it at the moment. One of our big stores has a large Portuguese and Spanish section. From the last mixed case of bottles I bought, the winner was Primavera Bairrada 2005 Riserva. (I wrote about it in some other thread as being "solid.") I need to pick up a case of this. It was about $5.99/btl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: comestible

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll have to take back this recommendation. I bought a case of the Primavera and found I was mistaken. It's not *bad,* but I must have been thinking of a different wine. I should have been taking more careful notes. Sorry if I misled any of you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. 2006 Bitch Grenache South Australia under $15

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I found some bottles of 1997 Californian Cab Sauvignon for $11 a pop, in Canada no less... Why were they so cheap? It was kosher wine! Not manischewitz, but properly made wine with all the characteristics of a great 1997 Californian Cab Sauv. People just didn't buy it assuming it was sweet garbage. It was called Wente-Segal, if I recall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I just bought a case each of Lindeman's Merlot and Pinot Noir for $5/bottle or $60/case.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              These were both close-out prices as the Ma. liquor outlet was dropping this line(because they could not get a good price from the distributor) and they were going to be carrying Wnydham wines instead.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              For this price you cannot go wrong!!!---IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: catnip

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I LOVE Lindeman's wines. I've been a fan of their Shiraz for about 15 years now. It was my first try at red wines after years of grenache and white zinfandel and it opened up a whole new world for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I also like McWilliam's a lot. And most of the wines I've tried from World Market and Trader Joe's have been terrific, the quality well above the price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Sooooo much great stuff out there. Spain/Portugal & South America are treasure troves of good values. Also check out Juno from South Africa. Both Shiraz & Sauvignon Blanc. Ardales Tempranillo from Spain is a current favorite as well as Casal de Tonda Grilos from Portugal. From South America check out Viu Manent Carmenere, Yali Cabernet/Carmenere, Dona Paula "Los Cardos" Malbec from Argentina. Anything from La Posta or Duriguitti. If you haven't tried Torrontes try La Yunta or Zolo. Aromatic like Gewurztraminer but crisper and drier. Enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Iowaboy3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also have enjoyed the Dona Paula Los Cardos Malbec...will look into the Juno, haven't had South African red in quite a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. 2005, 2006 Reverdy Sancerre, £10, though I guess bit more in the US perhaps. Lovely wine, a real stand out from the new world Sauvignon Blancs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2005 Alphonse Mellot Sancerre, £10. See above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2006 Tamellini Soave, £8, again maybe a bit more in the US. Great Italian wine that shows there is a lot more to Italy than red and pinot grigio.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2006 Trenel Beaujolais, £9. Great French all rounder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. 2006 Quinta dos Grilos (Portugese red from the Dao region)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1994 Rozes LBV port (it was on sale for $14)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Recent vintage of Cuatro Pasos Mencia; a homerun paired with Mexican food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Recent vintage of Marques de Caceres rioja
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2007 Castano Monastrell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Forgive me for forgetting which years on some of these.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Tried Liberty School Cab 2006 from CA, $13.+/- per btl, drinks very well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I'm new to wine (and drinking in general) since recently turning 21, but my friend introduced me to Moscato. I really enjoy Sutter Home's Moscato which is around $5 a bottle, but totally great. Very sweet and good after dinner or in place of margaritas with the girls. It's not sparkling, but there were a few at the local wine store that had Moscato d'Asti's for $10-$15. I think they are great for summer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: elledragaled

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A good pairing with Moscato's, dark chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I have always loved Bogle's Petite Syrah, as well as Gnarled Vine Zinfandel (2005) which is fantastic. Sometimes you can find a Hayman & Hill pinot noir for around $15.00 as well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jadezebel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also tried the Bogle Petite Syrah a few weeks ago, if I remember correctly it had a surpringly earthy and smokey design that I really enjoyed but I also had other guests who couldn't stand it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. This week I would have to put in a plug for Shinn Estate's NV Red. @ $14, this blend of Cab Franc and Merlot has spice and berries, and is just plain delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you're in the New York area, I recommend a visit to their place in Mattituck (on the North Fork).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Ballentine 2006 Merlot, $16.50 at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant in San Francisco. To me it's more like a great claret than a merlot upon first taste, but I think it's 100% merlot grapes (I might be wrong about that). The guy who sold it to me said he considers it the best merlot in their store, and bargain priced to boot. Rich, smooth, easy to sip alone before or after dinner. I haven't paired it with foods yet because I'm enjoying it so much solo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Easy: Galli & Brocatelli Montefalco Rosso, which early in the decade retailed for under $8.99/bottle, $90/case. Unfortunately, that was when the dollar was high and the euro was low. (sigh) And Leonardo LoCascio's Winebow no longer imports Galli & Brocatelli (double sigh). Today, with the dollar low and the euro high, the equivalent wine (Antonelli Rosso di Montefalco Riserva 2003) has crept over the $20 mark -- we had to pay $23 (single bottle price) for a bottle of the Antonelli last week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The best sub-$15 wine we are drinking in 2009 is Ca' del Sarto Barbera d'Alba currently in the 2007 vintage (we have consumed a lot of the 2006, and the 2007 has proved -- fortunately -- to be very similar), a wine that is a bit fuller, rounder, and softer than the average Piemontese barbera, and which retails here in Oregon for $10 (single bottle price; we get a case for $96).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    second that one, one of my favorites

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Lately, whenever my travels take me through NJ, I stop into Canal Wines and pick up a case of Paolo Scavino Rosso from Piemonte. It's become one of my favorites alongside pizza and spaghetti & meatballs, and I can usually get it on sale for $14.99.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Honeymoon Viognier
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Domaine St. Antoine rose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Red Bicyclette Rose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Starborough Sauvignon Blanc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fauna Sauvignon Blanc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anything from either McWilliams or Lindeman's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Columbia Crest Two Vines line
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And it seems anything out of Chile can be ridiculously low priced and still very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KristieB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        we just finished a very nice Chateau d'Aurilhac, Haut Medoc 2000 for which I paid about 10.50 about seven years ago; the 2005 was available for 13-14 a year ago and might still be around in some retailers. the '00 d'Aurilhac compared pretty well with a $40 1997 Alexander Valley cabernet. cheers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. assuming you are talking at reasonably current prices. Our local HEB just had some Parducci pinot noir in the 13 range that was delish. They also had a nice "fizzante" style moscato d'asti that qualified.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Recently purchased a 2006 Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha for $10. It is ridiculously good for the price.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: annapurna7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            08 Venta Morales La Mancha Tempranillo is another insane value--$6 at PJWine in NYC, drinks like a good $15 wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Smoking Loon Syrah 2007. Great question cause I am stocking wine cellar!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Latour 2007 Valmoissine Pinot Noir...our World Market is selling it for $10.97!!! Great deal if you can find it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              D'Autrefois 2007 Pinot Noir Morconi Selection...$9.99 at Total Wine. I guess I love French pinot noirs lately! But both of these are very good and also rate well at cellartracker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I also like "Kris (Pinot Grigio ) in that price range. Not bad for $11.99.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chocolate

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I really like the Château Lavergne-Dulong it is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot mixture from Bordeaux. I found it using EnjoyBordeaux's great Bordeaux under $25 suggestions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I rarely buy wines for more than $10/Bottle...special value or visiting certain people only.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Many of my wines are usually more than $10 but I buy what I like on sale for $8 or $9.00.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Some of the more reliables during the past few months:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1) Casillaro Del Diablo 2007?(Cabernet or Carmeniere or Merlot) [Ch] $7.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2) Guigal Cotes Du Rhone 2005 [Fr] $8.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3) St Halletts Gamekeepers Reserve 2006 (Shiraz/Grenache) [Au] $8.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4) Norton Malbec 2008 Mendoza [Ar] $6.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5) Trapiche Malbec 2007 Mendoza [Ar] $8.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6) Dona Paula Los Cardos 2008 Mendoza [Ar] $9.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7) Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet CV[Wa] $8.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  8) Monte Antico Tuscany 2006[It] $8.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  9) Hogue Cabernet [CV] 2007 $9.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  10 Chauteau St Michelle Reisling 2007 $10.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11) Columbia Crest Two Vines Shiraz Cab 2007 [Wa] $6.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  12) Wolftrap 2008 Syrah-Mourvèdre-Viognier [sA] $8.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  13) Woop Woop Shiriz 2007 [Au] $11.99

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chassroc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A few that spring to mind:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Whites: Some good Finger Lakes rieslings would come under the $15 limit: Anthony Road, Standing Stone and Hosmer are examples. The Muscadets from Marc Olivier (Domaine de la Pepiere) are always a great buy, as are some other Dressner imports like Brun's Beaujolais Blanc ('08 is particularly nice).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Reds: I've been fascinated with Portugal this last year. Some great bottles that are dirt cheap are the previously mentioned Palestra (Douro) as well as its Dao Sul stablemate Quinta do Encontro Bairrada (Dao Sul is a company that controls several domains around Portugal - great QPR wines). Also '06 Vinha do Mouro from the Alentejo and the '07 Douro for Borge's Quinta da Soalheira.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jmoryl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agree that there are many good bargain reds coming out of Portugal. I'm also a big fan of Douro wines. Theres a really great balanced and full bodied Douro available where I live called Villa Regia Sogrape. And it's only $9.95 CAD. A real bargain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NickMontreal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NM, can you describe Portuguese wines? Dry? Sweet? either/or? I'm partial to red...any you could recommend for a starter Portuguese red wine? Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well Val I’m no enologist I’m afraid – but if I had to make a generalization I guess it would be this (others please feel free to jump in):

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The most well-known Portuguese wines are probably Port and Madeira, both super sweet fortified wines traditionally enjoyed with cheese or to round off a meal. But they also produce lovely dry, concentrated and flavourful reds. Often quite tannic, making them a good partner with high protein dishes. In my experience these can be found at a very reasonable price. For a starter, I would recommend a dry red from the Douro region, like the one I mentioned in my previous post. No need to put down the big bucks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don’t know much about Portuguese whites except that one of it’s most popular is the young, highly acidic and slightly sparkling Vinho Verde – a wonderfully refreshing dry white which is great to drink with fresh fish dishes or your typical Mediterranean spread of bread, cheese and salad etc…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A word of warning about Vinho Verde, the low alcohol content makes it so very drinkable. You can knock back a hundred glasses thinking it’s harmless, but the alcohol will hit you like a ton of bricks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NickMontreal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To add to what Nick says:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are a couple different styles of Vinho Verde - a lighter, semi-dry style with maybe a little carbonation ,weighing in at 9 or 10% alcohol (one might even say this is the 'traditional' style, exemplifed by wines like the inexpensive Casal Garcia) and more 'serious' styles, dry and 12-13% alcohol (the better ones often from the grape Alvarinho, like Solaheira). This is leaving out red Vinho Verde, which may be an aquired taste!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Plus there are some other worthy whites from elsewhere in Portugal - I happen to like the whites from Dao and Bairrada. It is hard to recommend a good starter wine since distribution is so spotty. I happen to live near a large Portuguese community in Newark, so I'm spoiled for choice. The red Palestra I mention above may be widely available. You might post a few that you have in your local shops - I might know them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jmoryl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm fortunate, like jmoryl, to live near a Portuguese community in NJ, and Portuguese wines (mostly reds) have come to be our daily wines. The reds I'd best describe as dry, solid and round, medium-bodied, and mostly not too tannic. Some have the attractive grape-skin flavor of a young wine. No exquisite characteristics to rave about (they're just everyday wines), but some of the best-value wines I've found...at the place I shop in Elizabeth, NJ, many are $7 or less.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here are a few names (sorry for some incomplete label info):

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Quinta do Encontro, Bairrada
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Berco do Infante Riserva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Meia Encosta Dao
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              JP Azeitao
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Vinha da Palestra
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Visconde de Borba
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Paulo Laureano "Singularis"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Primavera Douro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And from Spain (similar quality):

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lelia Garnacha, Carinena
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rioja Vega, Rioja
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mingo Temperanillo, Valencia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Casa Solar Temperanillo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Montesinos, Jumilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: chassroc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i would tend to agree with the monte antico statement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      where in the hell are you buying your wines, though? the monte antico i get is 12.99 and thats the cheapest price ive seen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      also, i've been a fan of an argentinian malbec called altos las hormigas which i've been buying at 10.99 a bottle. really nice stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Dr. Loosen 2008 Riesling! Hands down best ever. $13.95 wine that taste like a $30+ Spatlese!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Vinosia's ESSENZA DI MALVASIA [literally Essence (nectar) of Malvasia]... In this case Malvasia bianca, an Italian varietal that is being used by vintners in California and the American Southwest to bring a floral quality to the glass of their blends. But the one I had was--so far as my research showed--all or mostly Malvasia... which is incredibly difficult to find in the middle of Pennsylvania. Pairing note: SUSHI, SUSHI, SUSHI. Pricetag: $13.49, including shipping.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: scQue814

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hard to beat the 2001 Blue Rock Alexander Valley Syrah at $10. Closeout bin special!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Off of the top of my head, El Coto Rioja, 2008 vintage I think but may have been other. Really good IMO and easy to find. I also had a cheaper bottle of Penfolds that I liked. I'm almost certain that there is a third contender that was exceptional, but I can't really remember what it was. Shame!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. What a great old thread! I was expecting to see so many more whites than reds for this price range -- but I'm happy to see I'm wrong!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know if it's the very, very best, but I very much like Chateau Sainte-Marie's Bordeaux Superieur 2007 Reserve. It's about $15 a bottle. It's smooth, complex, just chewy enough -- much bigger than the price would suggest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. It was a glorious mistake, but I got 6 bottles of '98 Dominus at Costco shortly after release for $80. The checkout cashier insisted that it was a 6 bottle case that was priced at $79.99, instead of the price for a single bottle. OK, if you insist, I won't protest.......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On a more everyday note, a couple months ago I found the 2007 d'Arenberg Laughing Magpie shiraz-viognier being cleared out of a Costco location near me for $9.97. Got the last 11 bottles they had on the shelves. I proceeded to every other Costco that was within reasonable driving distance from me, and they all still had it priced at $17.99 with plenty of stock. Never quite figured that one out, but at least I got a case worth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One other score from Costco awhile back was 16 magnums of the 2005 Moon Mountain reserve cab at $19.97.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. More thoughts on this old thread . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Best wines you've had under $15" -- of all time????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1970 Château Lynch-Bages cost me $5.95
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1970 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou cost me $6.95
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1970 Château Palmer cost me $7.95

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1970 Louis M. Martini Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon cost me $6.00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1970 Beaulieu Vineyards George de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon cost me $8.00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1970 Heitz Cellars Martha's Vineyard Cabernet cost me $15.00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1970 Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon cost me $15.00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1969 Robert Mondavi Unfined Cabernet Sauvignon cost me $15.00

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1978 Guigal Côte du Rhone rouge cost me $3.99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1968 Louis M. Martini Barbera cost me $2.50

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                . . . and the list goes on and on and on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A couple -- I have one 1970 Ridge Monte Bello left, and I have a bottle of Hermitage . . . oh! And I have three bottles of 1970 Taylor's Vintage Porto that I bought for $12.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pretty cool. I wasn't even a blip on the radar yet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is the reasoning behind my oft-stated opinion that many wines are ridiculously overpriced today, and why I resent wine being treated like a commodity to be traded, rather than a food to be consumed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But the really scary part is the wholesale pricing on the 1961 First Growth Bordeaux at release. Not on futures, but upon release -- it's sitting in the wholesaler's warehouse, and you could pick up the phone and order a case of 1961 ______________ and have it delivered the next day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Châteaux Haut-Brion, Latour, Margaux, Mouton* -- $30/case wholesale. That's $3.75 RETAIL under California's (then) posted Fair Trade system. Lafite? Expensive: $36/case wholesale; $4.50 retail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Scary, isn't it?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        * Yes, I know Mouton wasn't a First Growth then, but it always commanded "First Growth prices."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Er-r-r Jason, that actually goes back to BEFORE the thread! [Grin]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Actually, I would have to add a Ch. Latour '65, that cost me US$10.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Picket Fence 2007 Pinot Noir. Bought it at Trader Joe's for about $8.99 (i think) and found it on Jason's win blog as well. delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Castello del Poggio Moscato d'Asti have gotten it for less than $12. Served in Olive Garden (non d'asti version) for $24+ a bottle same flavor, different grape to make it "exclusive" for OG.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DAVESGIRL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        any malbec wine from Chile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        cupcake vineyard pinot grigio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Well now, <Best wine you've had under $15> varies from time to time. What was great two years ago might be very different this year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We've been enjoying Shinn Estates Vineyards' "RED" lately. (Qualify to say last 2 years) Shinn is located on the North Fork of Long Island, NY (same latitude as Bordeaux!) and we think this wine drinks a lot like a village St. Emilion. At $12.99, it's a steal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And we love that it's local. ;)


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2009 Laurent Reverdy Sancerre: $9.99: Trader Joe's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's probably one of the best white wines (aside from the Riesling wine dinner) I've had all year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            saw this today at TJ's and was wondering. good to know!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sancerre...for $9.99? You can't possibly live in Canada! Never seen one under $22. Wherever you are, I'm immigrating!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Current favorites are Two Oceans Shiraz from South Africa & Carlos Basso Cabernet/Malbec from Argentina. Both are great values.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Finca Flieschman Argentene Reserve Cabernet $10.00 You will swear this is a $20.00 Bottle of wine!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Here are a couple that are widely available right now:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2009 Altovinum Evodia: a sublime Spanish Garnacha from 100+ year old vines that can be found as low as $6.99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2008 Concannon Conservancy Petite Sirah: an excellent nicely balanced full bodied wine for around $10.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you have a Costco near you, you definitely need to give this one a try...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2009 Kirkland Signature Rutherford Napa Valley Meritage, fantastic at only $13.99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This last one will be harder to find, but well worth it for a delicious Spanish Merlot, 2006 Palarea Merlot for $15.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mud Dog

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Seconding the Evodia garnacha, I've found it in both Chicago (where I live) and Berkeley (where my parents live).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I know this thread is old but I just found it and love the suggestions! More wine to try! Woo hoo! My vote off the top of my head for an everyday drinker is Sokol Blosser's Evolution (white blend) and Meditrina (red blend). Both are priced at $15ish and are great bottles! They're an Oregon winery but check it out if you can!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ORtastytravels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll 2nd the Sokol Blosser, one of my favorite white blends!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. One wine I just tried that impressed me was a 2010 Domaines Astruc Vin de Pays d'Oc dA Viognier I picked up at Whole Foods in Oregon for $9.99. it's a French bottling and was an excellent value. Will have to pick up more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ORtastytravels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2008 Little Yering Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, South Australia. $14 and fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. a wine called PKNT Carmenere. there supposedly different levels but the one that my store carries is a gold label and it's $9.99. it's chilean but found out it's imported by bronco aka makers of 2 buck chuck. i was a bit hesitant knowing this but it's a nice medium bodies wine for the price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. For under $20, we like the Layer Cake shiraz, can be found at costco for around $15 or so. We prefer the Layer Cake Cab, but that's $25.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: M_and_H

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Everyone's palate is different, but I have found that wines with the word "cake" in it are exceedingly sweet, especially the reds. There's another very popular wine called Cupcake; seems to be a marketing trend these days, just saying, not knocking your post M&H.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is not a sweet wine, it's made by Jayson Woodbridge of Hundred Acre. It's actually pretty good for an everyday wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: M_and_H

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, the Layer Cake series is actually decent wine and has been around for a while. They've done a nice Malbec, Primitivo and I'd carry the Shiraz on my shelves if I had room.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No "Sweet Red" here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: M_and_H

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jayson Woodbridge also makes a PInot Noir called Cherry Pie. Not sweet! VERY GOOD!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                +1 with Val: Cupcake actually markets several different wines and a Vodka too. Their Moscato is definitely sweet but other wine varieties are not. They're something similar to a Ngociant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A possible exception, though not within these price-points, but Dick CAKEbread's wines are quite dry, and flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OTOH - I do see much of what you describe. Sort of like any wine with a warm, fuzzy animal - not what I am likely to enjoy. That could be said for some of the wines with cutsey, slightly off-color names too. So far, nothing that I want to buy and consume.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had one of the 'cake' wines at holiday party at work...NO! too sweet! Cellartracker reviews for the Layer Cake include many who thought it was too sweet...hey, like I said, not knocking anyone...just saying they CAN be too sweet for some red drinkers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not had any Layer Cake wines, but from some of the posts here, I might consider myself lucky. Even if one likes some "over-the-top" Zins, and Syrahs many over-reach. I usually like "heavily-extracted" wines, but only so long as there is balance. Often, and more often with lower-end wines," things are seldom "in balance."


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I like the Layer Cake series as well. Don't find them very sweet, and I don't generally like sweet.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: noodlepoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have a glass of Layer Cake Siraz in my hand right now. It's one of my favorites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Reston

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm a big fan of the Layer Cake as well but I recently just had a wine called 2009 Oliverhill's Red Silk Shiraz! Hands down one of the best values i've ever had under $15. I usually get it a store called The Wine Stop or you could find it on there website. www.thewinestop.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Castle Rock Pinot Noir(calif) about $10, Firesteed Pinot Noir(oregon) about $12.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Chateau La Graviere, 2008, (Haut-Medoc) 5.41€ from your local Marché U (6.99€ if it's not on sale).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo It is my favorite wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. La Vielle Ferme Rose is my favorite wine for sipping chilled while sitting on the front porch during a lazy, Southern summer afternoon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: G8ornurse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        +1 for La Vielle Ferme. Hard to beat, for my taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I'm a big fan of Hugel's Gentil (around $11), an Alsace blend of noble grapes and sylvaner and pinot blanc. The 2010 is particularly crisp and fresh, with elevated riesling aromatics and a nice fruity edge from the muscat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Perfect served chilled in warmer weather, which in my neck of the woods is pretty much every day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Another D'Arenberg Stump Jump GSM fan. Always $10-12/bottle.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also like Feudo Arancio Nero D'Avola. $7-8/bottle and easy to drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I know they make many good wines, but there was a a Concha y Toro wine that my local wine dealer told me sold thousands. It started selling at $6, but they raised it two close to $10 when it became so popular.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sounds like the Casillero del Diablo line. Their Carmenere holds it's own quite well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              New one I just found is Montpellier Pinot noir.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Had a beautiful bottle of LAN RIOJA It was very nice, and was on Wine Spectator top 100 wines last year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. It's hot here now, so I'm thinking about roses and sauvignon blancs: love Domaine des Corbillieres rose from the Loire. A real crowd pleaser. Also quite a few good NZ sauvignon blancs under $15, of course; sometimes you can get Oyster Bay for less than $10.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I double the stump jump and tripple the lan - lan has
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  great wine at around your price range and even better at the 15-30 range - they have on at around 26 that is a single estate that I loved

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  there are several albarinos at the 15 dolllar range that are nice also

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: winepoet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love the Lan Rioja Superiore It's incredible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Just discovered this wine last week...2007 Vina Antigua from Argentina. $10 Canadian! Rich, full bodied, tabacco notes, liquorice with berries. So good! www.quinnedavey.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Juliénas les Capitans from duBoeuf. I presume you can find this special cuvée Beaujolais cru in the US.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: collioure1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I presume you're speaking of the Juliénas "Château des Capitans" that is distributed (but not made by) Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. ("Mise en boutille au Château par SCEA Château des Capitans")

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have not seen it. That doesn't mean it's not in the U.S., but it's not a wine I look for. Some of the domaine bottlings from Dubouef are very, very good, but I will confess that -- for better or worse -- his "Flower Bottlings" nearly destroyed my love of Beaujolais, and I opt for buying specific domaines. Even Georges Descombes -- arguably Duboeuf's best domaine bottling -- is now bottling and selling his Morgon direct to Louis/Dressner for importation to the U.S.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yup. That's the one. I also buy Fleurie Ch des Déduits and Cote-de-Brouilly Dom de Riaz, and after the finanical crisis I can get them all every winter now. BTW they don't give that Juliénas away. I pay about 9€ now vs 7 and 6 for the other two, but you only live once and life is way too short for bad wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I didn't like the last Descombes (2008) I bought. Bitter notes, acidic, even after two years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And I have a few bottles of Cote-de-Brouilly flower bottle 2010. It's excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You know, I lay all these wines down for a few months now. Somehow they are never very good after the truck ride down here from Beaujolais.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Life is good.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You like Zinfandel? So do I but refuse to bring it back in my luggage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I think the 2010 Pascual Toso Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon is a brilliant wine! drinks more like a $30 bottle of wine. Especially since they have Paul Hobbs as their winemaker!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Also Quincy 2010 Domaine Portier Cuvée Passion. This delicate Sauvignon Blanc, the gold medal winner in the Loire valley competition at Angers this year, offers gorgeous fruit. Will accompany trout grenobloise tomorrow night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I see one of his cuvées offered thru Amazon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The wines of Quincy and Reuilly are not as forceful as Sancerres, but they are values for those on a budget. I buy them every autumn now.